Nursing: Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault: Recognition and Intervention Strategies for Nurses

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About the Course

This course presents an overview of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault (SA) issues that nurses in a variety of settings may encounter. Types of IPV and SA and risk factors are described. Health consequences are addressed, as well as the effects at various life stages from children to older adults. Screening and assessment strategies are reviewed, including working with special populations, such as immigrants, pregnant women, the LGBTQI community, and perpetrators. The course also covers, from a practical perspective, legal issues, reporting requirements, and necessary documentation when working with victims of IPV or SA.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Recognize the significance and magnitude of IPV and sexual assault SA in the United States.
  • Identify the dynamics of IPV and SA across the life span.
  • Describe the role of the nurse in identifying and addressing IPV and SA in the healthcare setting.
  • Discuss effective prevention, intervention, safety, and referral strategies when working with victims of IPV and SA.
  • Identify legal concerns and strategies to protect and implement services for victims of IPV and SA in healthcare settings.

About the Authors:

Candace W. Burton, PhD, RN, AFN-BC, AGN-BC, FNAP, is an assistant professor in the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California, Irvine. She is a former domestic violence advocate, and her research focuses on the bio-behavioral and biological health effects of intimate partner violence. She has a particular interest in genomic and epigenomic changes. Dr. Burton is also a trained qualitative and mixed methodologist and has published articles on intimate partner violence, young women’s health, cultural stressors, social media in nursing, and women’s reproductive health in the context of coercive and controlling relationships. She holds undergraduate degrees in Studies in Women and Gender and in Nursing from the University of Virginia and a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Burton is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in both Advanced Forensic and Advanced Genetics Nursing, and she sits on the board of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International.

Jessica R. Williams, PhD, MPH, PHNA-BC, is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. She is a board-certified advanced public health nurse with clinical training in both hospital and community health settings. Dr. Williams research is aimed at improving methods for the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices, particularly relative to the prevention of gender-based violence. She has conducted several studies on how healthcare facilities can best respond to situations of intimate partner violence and has evaluated interventions designed to increase the adoption of evidence-based practices by health and social service agencies. Dr. Williams is an active member of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Her teaching specializations include research and evidence-based practice methodology and public health nursing.  She earned her PhD, MSN, and MPH degrees from Johns Hopkins University and BSN and BA degrees from the University of Florida.

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